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Russian Baths in New York

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Not all of us can afford the luxury of traveling to Eastern Europe for a few glorious bathing sessions. Thankfully, we can enjoy all that the Russian Baths have to offer right here in our very own New York. Some truly replicate an authentic experience, while others are just faking it. Read our reviews to see what everyone is worth*.

Experience what the real Russian Bath is about

Try NYC Russian Bath Meetup - this is a free event (you just have to pay to get inside the banya). The event includes:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Short platza
  • Honey mask
  • Short salt scrub

more details


Forest Hills Spa in Queens

Editor's rating:3.5 stars

Pros: Cozy, authentic, family - friendly

Cons: Simple, small, certainly not a spa, croud

Conclusion: Must go!

Visitor's rating:

Address: 5921 Calloway St, Flushing NY 11368
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone: (718) 699-1919
Web: ForestHillsSpa.com
Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat-Sun 9am-12am
Admission: $30; Children under 12: $15
Venik treatment / Platza: $35
1 hour massage: $80
Facilities: 3 saunas, big warm pool, cold plunge, jacuzzi, bar, restaurant.
Reviews: Citysearch , Yelp

Cozy - that's the word on a tip of my tongue when I think of Forest Hills Spa of Queens. When Forest Hills Spa changed ownership a few years ago, it was a miserably worn out place. The new owner Boris Borsky had to strip it to bare walls and build everything from scratch.

A beautiful large pool dominates the main Forest Hills Spa area. A whirlpool and a cold plunge are next to it. A wooden corridor with benches for relaxation leads from the pool to steam rooms. The Russian steam room is exactly what one would expect from a Russian bath: stone walls, wooden benches and stove in the center. A room and stove may be a little too small (cozy), but otherwise perfect. A dry sauna and a Turkish room are clean and pleasant - though nothing special. See video on the home page of ForestHillsSpa.com - it will give you a good idea of the place.

Dining area is neatly separated from the pool by a glass wall. The area is positioned slightly above the pool, giving it a VIP lounge-like view. The restaurant is all wood brightly lit from the ceiling windows - very cozy. Tasty Russian food is great and big glasses of Russian bear will immediately put you in right mood.

The staff is fantastic. Don't expect a spa service here - you may hardly get a smile. But every tiny birch leave is immediately taken off the pool, steam room is regularly cleaned, towels are fresh, food delicious - I love these guys.

Nobody's perfect of course: there's a patched crack on the stove, some misaligned tiles in a shower, sometimes loud and not-so-delicate people. But if you come here with a right mindset, not for a service and spa, but for authentic Russian Banya experience - you will enjoy it like nowhere else in Queens.


Mermaid Spa in Seagate, Brooklyn

Editor's Rating: 4 stars

Pros: Authentic Russian bath, good kitchen

Cons: Remote even for Brooklyn, small steam room, crowded on weekends

Conclusion: Positively Recommended. One of the best Russian Baths in New York.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 3701 Mermaid Ave. (at West 37th Street), Brooklyn NY
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Directions: B36 bus to west 37th and Mermaid Avenue
By Car: Belt Pkwy to Cropsey Avenue, right on Mermaid Avenue to West 37th St.
Phone: (347) 462-2166
Web: mermaidspany.com
Hours: M-F 8am -11pm Sat-Sun 7am-11pm
Admission: $35 Children 2-12: $25 Senior: $30
Facilities: sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, cold pool, ice cold plunge pool, restaurant
Reviews: Yelp

In 2004 Mermaid Spa in Seagate underwent $800,000 face-lift. In 2005 it burned down. In 2008 it reopened with very little change. Besides three Russian rooms the bath has a scorching dry sauna, a Turkish bath, two small tile pools that are machine-fed with chopped ice and a circular Jacuzzi inside a lodge-like wooden dining hall. The entire facility is finished with wood and slate. Owners Zina and Boris Kotlyar say they wanted to create an environment that was similar to an old style bania in Russia . "Marble is so cold, wood helps you feel warmer."

On a Friday evening this bath seems to attract a somewhat younger and hipper Russian crowd than more family oriented weekends. The quality of steam is great, but the Russian Steam room is small and becomes just too crowded on weekends. The crowd is 90% Russian, hence quite a lot of beer and vodka drinking is going on. The restaurant is great with authentic Russian dishes that you would not want to miss.

Be caferul not to let your children play in Jacuzzi for too long - they can get chemical burns (one of my friend kids did). Anyway Mermaid Spa is one of the best Russian banya's in Brooklyn.

 


Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street in Manhattan

Editor's Rating: 2 stars

Pros: Relatively cheap. Good location. Interesting from historical point of view. In the mornings you may get some good steam.

Cons: Ancient decor, worn feel. Very busy. Not a Russian nor a Turkish bath.

Conclusion: This is true New York / Jewish experience that may be worth a visit. Just don't think you've got some exotic taste of Russian banya, because you haven't.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 268 East 10th Street (b/w Ave A & 1st Ave), New York, NY 10009
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone: 212-473-8806
Web: RussianTurkishBaths.com
Hours: Coed: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 12am-10pm; Wed 2pm-10pm; Sat 7:30am-10pm; Sun 2pm-10pm
Men only: Sun 8am-2pm
Women only: Wed 12am-2pm
Admission: $30
Venik treatment / Platza: $35
1 hour massage: $75
Facilities: Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Aromathrapy rooms, Ice Cold Pool, Sun Deck, Restaurant. Robes, slippers, towels are included
Reviews: Citysearch , Yelp

Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street is oldest Manhattan bathhouse built by Jewish immigrants in 1892. East Village location and a long history make this place one of the busiest banyas in New York. Heat rooms consist of "Russian sauna", "Swedish" and "Turkish" steam room. Or at least that's what the owners would like them to be called in quite an unorthodox classification. The gloomy "Russian sauna" has cold shower, bare cement walls and benches. This may be an authentic Jewish shvitz you would likely to find in Poland, but why call it Russian? Instead of traditional Russian venik (a bundle of leafy twigs), a funny broom on a wooden stick is used for platza. You'll hardly find any Russians there - get a clue.

Turkish bath hammam is supposed to be octagon shaped with a platform in the middle of the room, with heated marble floor and masseur doing marvelous Turkish massage. Having a gym-like steam room with radiator heating is a weak excuse for calling the bathhouse Turkish.

On a bright side the Ice pool is big and cold. There is a sun deck surrounded by residential buildings. Extra services like Swedish/Russian Massage, Platza Oak Leaf, Dead Sea Salt Scrub, Black Mud Treatment and Soap Wash are available for a reasonable price. Some mornings are reserved for single sex bathing, so make sure to check the scheduler before going. The restaurant serves a regular Russian food with sensible prices. The service is open hearted, but unsophisticated.

The bathhouse is a unique New York / Jewish experience. It may be very close to what New Yorkers experienced 100 years ago. And from this point of view it is interesting. It is unfortunate though that in the eyes of many it misrepresents what Russian banya is.

Update: The walls in Russian room were covered with stone. The presentation benefited, but historical aura is gone and many bathers find stone not suitable for the steam room.


Okeanos Spa on East 51st Street in Manhattan - permanently closed


Wall Street Bath & Spa (Spa 88) on Fulton Street in Manhattan, New York

Editor's Rating: 4 stars

Pros: Located in Manhattan, plenty of space, big pool, great stove.

Cons: A bit more expensive than the rest. Shvitz replaced Finnish sauna.

Conclusion: Recommended. High quality Russian banya.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 88 Fulton Street (b/w William and Gold St.), New York NY 10038
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Directions: 2,3,4 and 5 trains to Fulton Street.- A, C, J, M and Z trains to Broadway/Nassau
Phone: 212-766-8600
Web: www.wallstreetbath.com
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat-Sun 9am-11pm
Admission: $30, children ages 5-12 $16
1 hour massage: $80-$90
Venik treatment / Platza: $30-$40
Facial: $40-$100
Facilities:
Big pool, Russian bath, steam room (Turkish), Shvitz, Jacuzzi, cold plunge, Tanning salon, gym, Restaurant
Reviews:Yelp , Citysearch

Wall Street Bath and Spa formerly known as Spa 88 tries to position itself more as a club and a spa than just a Russian bath. Never mind that, they are still a great Russian bath. They have an authentic Russian room with a stove made with 16 tons of rock heated overnight to radiate intense heat. Fragrant steam room is available for those who like suffocating themselves. A nice Swiss sauna was recently replaced by a Jewish shvitz. Shvitz is similar to Russian banya, but in the same room where people sweat they douche themselves with buckets of cold water. Because of so much water, steam may becomes heavy and less pleasant. But since you can pour cold water at any moment, it seems to be preferred by non-Russian visitors.

Other facilities of Wall Street Bath include a refreshingly cold plunge, an impressively large though shallow pool, foamy Jacuzzi for chlorine-lovers, a spacious and usually empty "Turkish" steam room. The spa offers a variety of treatments like massage, facials, body wraps and waxing. The bathhouse was built in the late nineties and recently renovated, but still shows some signs of wear.

The resting area in Spa 88 has high ceilings and to some it may lack coziness. The place can get quite busy on weekends. The on-site restaurant serves various Russian foods with reasonable by Manhattan standards prices. Remember to keep track of those uncounted pots of tea though - the totals can quickly build up higher than anticipated. The service sometimes has an old-Russian school influence - lack of smiles and attention.


Sandoony USA in Brooklyn

Editor's Rating: 3 stars

Pros: Good steam rooms. Relatively big pool. Russian food. Clean. Democratic.

Cons: Surprisingly shabby for such a new place. Very crowded. Table and food around the pool.

Conclusion: Go on a weekday with pals, not your girlfriend.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 1158 McDonald Ave, Brooklyn NY 11230
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone:718-951-2000, (718) 951-9000
Web: SandoonyUSA.com
Hours: 7 days a week 8am-11:45pm
Admission: $30 Children 3-13: $10 Deposit Box/Lockers: $1
Venik treatment / Platza: $30
1 hour massage: $70
Facilities: 2 dry saunas, russian bath, steam room, warm pool, cold plunge, jacuzzi, restaurant. Free parking available.

Sandoony USA has shamelessly stolen its name from the most recognizable banya in Moscow: Sanduny (Сандуны) - "Sandunov bath house" . Obviously it has no connection whatsoever to its famous namesake and offers little to justify the relation.

Large shining one-story Sandoony USA building is hard to miss on a gloomy McDonald Avenue. And while it also offers a parking lot - you can surrender the hopes of parking there during the weekends. Better yet - don't go there on weekends or Friday night at all. Despite sparkling new Royal Palace and the reopening of Mermaid Spa in Seagate and Coney Island Banya nearby, the Sandoony still gets full house on weekends (how many Russians are there in Brooklyn?!) First you'll wait on line to get in and get a locker. Then you will be aimlessly strolling around in hopes to find a table to put your staff and order some tea.

But let's give Sandoony the credit for most important part in banya - the steam room. The place nails it here - the stoves are huge (very similar to Fulton ) and the steam is top-notch. They call one Russian and another Finish for no reason whatsoever - they both are wet Russian steam rooms. "Turkish" steam room is boring, no scent, too low temperature and nobody goes there anyway. A wet lukewarm "shvitz" steam room is used primarily by older Russian women. They rub some exotic and smelly substances over their bodies with meticulous diligence - I have not found enough courage to stay there for too long. One-person cold plunge is a bit too shallow - but serves its purpose. Whirlpool stinks of chemicals (like everywhere else) - stay away. Medium size pool is great - not too much chlorine, a bit on a colder side - exactly what you'd want after a steam room.

The place is very liberal - most of the visitors bring their own thermoses and drink tea by the numerous tables around the pool. People are everywhere and that's fine if you are a hair-chested dude, but this may not be a comfortable place for a girl in bikinis. The place is the very opposite of romantic.

The restaurant is nothing special, but offers decent moderately priced Russian food.

What is surprising for such a recently opened place is how used it looks in some areas. Locks you receive at the entrance look like they've been in a battle. Metal locker parts are rusted. The paint is peeling from steam room ceilings. Some showers are broken. Despite these shortcomings Sandoony looks clean thanks to a hardworking maintenance team.

Bottom line is: this is a great joint to relax with close friends with no pretensions as long as you leave your girlfriend home.


Royal Palace / Royal Bath - permanently closed


Russian Baths of Neck Road in Brooklyn

Editor's Rating: 3 stars

Pros: Unusual Soviet hockey theme cafe.

Cons: Cramped, low ceilings.

Conclusion: Go at least once; you may feel it is not confined, but cozy

Visitor's rating:

Address: 1200 Gravesend Neck Road, Brooklyn NY 11229
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone: 718-332-1676
Web: russianbathofny.com
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm Sat-Sun 7am-11pm
Admission: $30 Children under 10: $15
Venik treatment / Platza: $30 and $45
1 hour massage: $70, 45 min - $55, 30min - $40
Facilities: big swimming pool, wet and dry russian baths, sauna, outdoor seating area, hockey-themed café, juice bar

This is the oldest Russian Bath in Brooklyn. One interesting feature of this bath is its hockey theme. Framed jerseys of famous Russian players decorate the walls and the cafe floor is tiled white with red and blue lines to resemble a hockey rink. There are even goals on either side of the cafe.

The main hall has low ceilings and fluorescent lights. It is dominated by a full-sized swimming pool with contracted passage around it, so visitors have to squeeze themselves to get around.
On weekends it gets crowded there were many families seated around tables with kids splashing in the pool.

The Russian room gets good steam, but also cramped. The restaurant is very good - plan to have a delicious and not too expensive meal if you go there. While not in the Ivy league of Russian banya's, it is a decent place to go that you would most probably enjoy (especially if you go on weekday).


Body By Brooklyn

Visitor's rating:

Address: 275 Park Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205
Map: Google
Phone:718-923-9400, 866-861-8043
Web: BodyByBrooklyn.com
Hours: 7 days a week 10am-10pm (Fri, Sat till 11pm)
Admission: $44 or free with a purchase of treatments
Reviews: CitySearch , Yelp

Like Okeanos , Body By Brooklyn is not a banya in an regular sense - it is primarily a spa with a Russian "river rock" steam room, cedar sauna and Turkish "aroma" steam room. A cold plunge and a hot tub make it even more banya than Okeanos . Again it does not make sense to come there for a banya only. Better have a massage or facial and use the facilities for free.

 


"Brooklyn Banya" (former Coney Island Banya) in Brooklyn

Previosly called "Bania Inc. Russian-Turkish Baths in Kensington" on Coney Island Ave

Editor's Rating (before renovation): 3 stars

Pros: Big seating area, unexpensive, just renovated

Cons: A bit plain

Conclusion: A bit boring, but may be fine for a change. Go there while it is new.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 602 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone: (718) 853-1300
Web: brooklynbanya.com
Hours: 10am-11:30pm (Weekends start at 8am)
Admission: $30, $15 children
Facilities: Wet and Dry sauna, Turkish steam room, Jacuzzi, cold pool, outdoor sun deck, café

This banya on Coney Island avenue seem to have a hard fate. It changes names and owners. After being suddenly closed down in 2007 with no announcements and phones disconnected, ex. Coney Island Banya has finally reopened after a year of renovations and now is being called Brooklyn Banya. The old banya has failed to win the hearts of the bath goers.

It has a huge marble and tile hall with a hot tub and cold pool and a large seating area. If one is not too lazy to take stairs to the roof, a sun desk is available there. Steam room and sauna are fine, if a bit boring.

Read the detailed review at Flatbush Pigeon blog.

 


Euphora (former Emerald) Spa in Queens

Emerald Spa was closed in 2009 for renovations and has reopened in 2010 as Euphora Spa.

The reivew below is for Emerald Spa from 2009, not for the renovated Euphora spa.

Editor's Rating: 2 stars

Pros: Cheap, good kitchen, refreshing pool.

Cons: Worn out feel, closed stove doors in Russian Room, crowd, limited towels.

Conclusion: There are far better places to go.

Visitor's rating:

Address: 38-15 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
Map: Google , Yahoo , MSN
Phone: 718-786-4558
Web: euphoraciti.com
Hours: 7 days a week 11am-11pm
Admission: Mon-Fri: $35, Sat&Sun: $45
1 hour massage: $100+
Facial: $90+
Facilities: dry sauna, russian bath, steam room, pool, whirlpool, restaurant, bar.

Emerald Spa is conveniently located just across the Queensboro Bridge within a walking distance of all of the trains going to Queens. For folks living in Midtown it may be even closer than Wall Street Spa (Spa 88) in Downtown. But that would matter only if this banya would actually be worth going.

Emerald Spa has one gloomy and worn out Russian Steam Room, barely warm sauna like you'd find in any gym and a tiny "Turkish" steam room. The Russian Room's stove doors are permanently closed, so visitor's completely depend on an attendant to add steam through the sprinklers in the back. If platza master Misha is on site (Sat, Sun) - that's no problem, if he is not - you are at the mercy of an ever-absent attendant. Visitors ingenuously throw the water onto the closed stove and the walls. This doesn't add as much heat as it makes the room unpleasantly damp.

A cold ~15 feet long pool is one of the best things in Emerald Spa: if you managed to get some steam, it is very refreshing to relax there afterwards. Next to it is a whirlpool that seems to be quite popular among less fastidious bathers.
There's an ordinary bar and few chairs and tables next to the pool. A crowd is mixed with majority seem to come from the Southern parts of ex-USSR. They may have different banya customs, but one would certainly appreciate a juicy grilled kebab and other Southern delicacies on the menu.
Lockers and showers are relatively clean. Visitors get only two towels and no slippers.

If you are in Queens, Forest Hills Spa is a far better choice than Emerald IMHO.



*Reviews express the personal opinion of the reviewer. All reviews are independent unless explicitly marked as sponsored. This site is in no way affiliated with any of the reviewed baths. No guarantee implicit or explicit about information being correct is made. Please contact us if errors are found.